20 found
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  1. Belief about Probability.Ray Buchanan & Sinan Dogramaci - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    Credences are beliefs about evidential probabilities. We give the view an assessment-sensitive formulation, show how it evades the standard objections, and give several arguments in support.
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  2. Pragmatic Particularism.Ray Buchanan & Henry Ian Schiller - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (1):62-78.
    For the Intentionalist, utterance content is wholly determined by a speaker’s meaning-intentions; the sentence uttered serves merely to facilitate the audience’s recovering these intentions. We argue that Intentionalists ought to be Particularists, holding that the only “principles” of meaning recovery needed are those governing inferences to the best explanation; “principles” that are both defeasible and, in a sense to be elaborated, variable. We discuss some ways in which some theorists have erred in trying to tame the “wild west” of pragmatics (...)
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  3. Propositions on the cheap.Alex Grzankowski & Ray Buchanan - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3159-3178.
    According to the classical account, propositions are sui generis, abstract, intrinsically-representational entities and our cognitive attitudes, and the token states within us that realize those attitudes, represent as they do in virtue of their propositional objects. In light of a desire to explain how it could be that propositions represent, much of the recent literature on propositions has pressured various aspects of this account. In place of the classical account, revisionists have aimed to understand propositions in terms of more familiar (...)
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  4. A puzzle about meaning and communication.Ray Buchanan - 2010 - Noûs 44 (2):340-371.
  5. Is Belief a Propositional Attitude?Ray Buchanan - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12.
    According to proponents of the face-value account, a beliefreport of the form ‘S believes that p’ is true just in case the agentbelieves a proposition referred to by the that-clause. As againstthis familiar view, I argue that there are cases of true beliefreports of the relevant form in which there is no proposition that thethat-clause, or the speaker using the that-clause, can plausibly betaken as referring to. Moreover, I argue that given the distinctiveway in which the face-value theory of belief-reports (...)
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  6. Meaning and responsibility.Ray Buchanan & Henry Ian Schiller - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (3):809-827.
    In performing an act of assertion we are sometimes responsible for more than the content of the literal meaning of the words we have used, sometimes less. A recently popular research program seeks to explain certain of the commitments we make in speech in terms of responsiveness to the conversational subject matter. We raise some issues for this view with the aim of providing a more general account of linguistic commitment: one that is grounded in a more general action‐theoretic notion (...)
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  7. Propositions as Objects of the Attitudes.Ray Buchanan & Alex Grzankowski - 2022 - In Chris Tillman & Adam Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge.
    Propositions are the things we believe, intend, desire, and so on, but discussions are often less precise than they could be and an important driver of this deficiency has been a focus on the objects but a neglect of the attitudinal relations we bear to them. In what follows, we will offer some thoughts on what it means for a proposition to be the object of an attitude and we will argue that an important part of the story lies with (...)
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  8. Representation and Rationality.Ray Buchanan & Sinan Dogramaci - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 106 (1):221-230.
    David Lewis (1974, 1994/1999) proposed to reduce the facts about mental representation to facts about sensory evidence, dispositions to act, and rationality. Recently, Robert Williams (2020) and Adam Pautz (2021) have taken up and developed Lewis’s project in sophisticated and novel ways. In this paper, we aim to present, clarify, and ultimately object to the core thesis that they all build their own views around. The different sophisticated developments and defenses notwithstanding, we think the core thesis is vulnerable. We pose (...)
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  9. Reference, Understanding, and Communication.Ray Buchanan - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):55-70.
    Brian Loar [1976] observed that, even in the simplest of cases, such as an utterance of (1): ‘He is a stockbroker’, a speaker's audience might misunderstand her utterance even if they correctly identify the referent of the relevant singular term, and understand what is being predicated of it. Numerous theorists, including Bezuidenhout [1997], Heck [1995], Paul [1999], and Récanati [1993, 1995], have used Loar's observation to argue against direct reference accounts of assertoric content and communication, maintaining that, even in these (...)
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  10. Has the problem of incompleteness rested on a mistake?Ray Buchanan & Gary Ostertag - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):889-913.
    A common objection to Russell's theory of descriptions concerns incomplete definite descriptions: uses of (for example) ‘the book is overdue’ in contexts where there is clearly more than one book. Many contemporary Russellians hold that such utterances will invariably convey a contextually determined complete proposition, for example, that the book in your briefcase is overdue. But according to the objection this gets things wrong: typically, when a speaker utters such a sentence, no facts about the context or the speaker's communicative (...)
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  11. Intention and the Basis of Meaning.Ray Buchanan - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    I argue that if intentions are what Grice, and most contemporary action theorists, take them to be, they are inessential for acts of speaker meaning. More specifically, my primary aim is to show that the consensus view of speaker meaning is in deep tension with certain plausible, and widely accepted, cognitive constraints on rational intention pertaining to an agent’s assessment of her prospects of achieving her goal. My secondary aim is to offer an initial case for thinking that the best (...)
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  12. Underspecification and Communication.Ray Buchanan - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    It has recently been argued that our use of vague language poses an intractable problem for any account of content and communication on which (i) the things we assert are propositions and (ii) understanding an assertion requires recognizing which proposition the speaker asserted. John MacFarlane has argued that this problem concerning vague language is itself a species of an even more general problem for such traditional accounts – the problem posed by “felicitous” underspecification. Repurposing certain ideas from Allan Gibbard, MacFarlane (...)
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  13. Conversational implicature, communicative intentions, and content.Ray Buchanan - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5):720-740.
    (2013). Conversational implicature, communicative intentions, and content. Canadian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 43, Essays on the Nature of Propositions, pp. 720-740.
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  14. The essence of the mental.Ray Buchanan & Alex Grzankowski - 2023 - European Journal of Philosophy 31 (4):1061-1072.
    Your belief that Obama is a Democrat would not be the belief that it is if it did not represent Obama, nor would the pain in your ankle be the state that it is if, say, it felt like an itch. Accordingly, it is tempting to hold that phenomenal and representational properties are essential to the mental states that have them. But, as several theorists have forcefully argued (including Kripke (1980) and Burge (1979, 1982)) this attractive idea is seemingly in (...)
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  15. Meaning, Expression, and Evidence.Ray Buchanan - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):152-157.
    Grice's (1957) analysis of non-natural meaning generated a huge industry, where new analyses were put forward to respond to successively more complex counterexamples. Davis (2003) offers a novel and refreshingly simple analysis of meaning in terms of the expression of belief, where (roughly) an agent expresses the belief that p just in case she performs a publicly observable action with the intention that it be an indication that she occurrently believes that p. I argue that Davis's analysis fails to capture (...)
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  16. Schiffer's Puzzle: A Kind of Fregean Response.Ray Buchanan - 2016 - In Gary Ostertag (ed.), Meanings and Other Things: Themes From the Work of Stephen Schiffer. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 128-148.
    In ‘What Reference Has to Tell Us about Meaning’, Stephen Schiffer argues that many of the objects of our beliefs, and the contents of our assertoric speech acts, have what he calls the relativity feature. A proposition has the relativity feature just in case it is an object-dependent proposition ‘the entertainment of which requires different people, or the same person at different times or places, to think of [the relevant object] in different ways’ (129). But as no Fregean or Russellian (...)
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  17. Content Pluralism.Alex Grzankowski & Ray Buchanan - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    How fine-grained are the contents of our beliefs and other cognitive attitudes? Are the contents of our beliefs individuated solely in terms of the objects, properties, and relations that figure in their truth conditions, or rather in terms of our concepts, or modes of presentation of those objects, properties, and relations? So-called Millians famously maintain the former whereas their Fregean rivals hold the latter. Though much ink was spilled on the question of grain, relatively little was ever achieved by way (...)
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  18. Names, Descriptions, and Assertion.Ray Buchanan - 2014 - In Zsu-Wei Hung (ed.), Communicative Action. Springer. pp. 03-15.
    According to Millian Descriptivism, while the semantic content of a linguistically simple proper name is just its referent, we often use sentences containing such expressions “to make assertions…that are, in part, descriptive” (Soames 2008). Against this view, I show, following Ted Sider and David Braun (2006), that simple sentences containing names are never used to assert descriptively enriched propositions. In addition, I offer a diagnosis as to where the argument for Millian Descriptivism goes wrong. Once we appreciate the distinctive way (...)
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  19. Are truth and reference quasi-disquotational?Ray Buchanan - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113 (1):43 - 75.
    In a number of influential papers, Hartry Fieldhas advanced an account of truth and referencethat we might dub quasi-disquotationalism. According to quasi-disquotationalism, truth and reference are to be explained in terms of disquotationand facts about what constitute a goodtranslation into our language. Field suggeststhat we might view quasi-disquotationalism aseither (a) an analysis of our ordinarytruth-theoretic concepts of reference andtruth, or (b) an account of certain otherconcepts that improve upon our ordinaryconcepts. In this paper, I argue that (i) ifthe view is (...)
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  20. Why bother with mental representations? [REVIEW]Alex Grzankowski & Ray Buchanan - 2022 - Metascience 31 (3):415-418.